Family sues over death of pilot in midair crash

Posted at 10:11 AM, Jan 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-09 13:11:25-05

The family of a Qualcomm executive who died when two planes collided in midair in San Diego County has sued the air traffic control company.

Michael Copeland was practicing touch-and-go landings at Brown Municipal Airport in August when his small Cessna collided with a twin-engine Sabreliner jet. Four people on the jet also died.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says Copeland's widow and adult children filed a wrongful death suit this week against Serco Inc., a New Jersey company that handled Brown's air traffic control.

Also sued were the control tower manager and the owner of the Sabreliner, Maryland-based BAE Systems.

The suit claims controllers failed to maintain a safe distance between the aircraft.

Both Serco and BAE Systems say they support the federal investigation into the crash.